It’s not as unusual as you think. Many vegetarians and non-vegetarians dine together all the time throughout the globe. You can have a pleasant fine Indian dining in NYC with friends, love interest, relatives and acquaintances. It comes down to focusing on having a good time together and respecting each other’s choices.
Reach A Compromise
The first step to having an enjoyable lunch outside is to respect each other’s dietary choices. If you are not okay with people eating meat, see whether others are willing to order veg dishes just while they dine with you. If spending time with others is more important to you, then try to tolerate it. It’s important to assure each other that dining together won’t be complicated.
Search For Places That Cater To Both
Don’t expect others to search for veg-friendly places for you, they may not be aware of any. If you can tolerate others eating meat, then you should look for places that serve both options. You can start by searching the menus of different restaurants online. Places serving exotic cuisines like the best Indian restaurant in New York often have many veg and non-veg options.
If you follow a strictly vegan diet, you should ask about animal products often used in vegetarian dishes. Especially when eating at a place serving North Indian cuisine. Read reviews on service and food before suggesting it to your friends. Review sites often list vegetarian-friendly places. Do not take everyone to a vegan place unless they’re okay with it.
Order Food Everyone Can Enjoy
There are many dishes that vegetarians and meat-eaters can enjoy and share with each other. If you’re lacto-vegetarian, then you can order some cheese pizzas. Paneer is a good option at an Indian place. If you’re a vegan, then you can try vegan foods like chana masala or choley masala. Again, ask the chef to not add any dairy products.
Don’t Try To Convert People
Don’t talk about why you don’t eat meat unless someone asks you. No one likes a preacher. Think about how you’d feel if someone flooded your Whatsapp with articles about the benefits of meat. You have your reasons to follow a vegetarian diet like protecting animal rights or for health reasons.
But others have their reasons to follow a non-vegetarian diet like the way they were raised or their tastes. And if you have been to Youtube comments, then you know no one ever wins a debate. Everyone will just spend time trying to prove their point and ruin the mood.
Talk about it only if they seem genuinely interested in your reasons. When you do, explain your choices without pointing out why others are wrong. They’ll find it easier to accept your choice this way.
Eat Before You Meet
If the place you’re visiting doesn’t have great veg options, then you might want to eat at home before arriving. You can munch on snacks and desserts while others have the entree. Fortunately, most desserts are vegetarian (though not usually vegan).
This tip can also come in handy if you are visiting someone for dinner or a celebration. If they haven’t prepared any veg meal, you can politely refuse the bacon.
Focus On Having A Good Time
Dining out with others isn’t just about trying good food, it’s also about the experience. Don’t spend the time watching others eat, it will just make you think more about meat. Talk about the ambiance, your hobbies, etc. Plan something after lunch like a movie.
At home or events, it’s rude to ask about hidden ingredients in veg dishes. When in doubt, politely refuse and focus on the celebration.
Invite Others Home
If your neighborhood doesn’t offer many vegan options, then invite people to try some at your home. At home, you are in control of the menu. Search for recipes that everyone can enjoy. If someone offers to bring non-veg food, you can permit or refuse.